• Kia Builds Two Sorento Concepts To Prove Its Wild Nature

These aren’t going into production but we would love it if they did

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Kia’s rise in the car world has been nothing sort of spectacular and we can clearly see it today in cars such as the Telluride or the all-new 2021 Sorento. Speaking of which, the Koreans’ American arm has been brewing two Sorento-based off-road concepts and we can’t get enough of their coolness. Meet the Sorento Yosemite Edition and Zion Edition.

Kia Builds Two Sorento Concepts To Prove Its Wild Nature Exterior
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The Yosemite Edition and the Zion Edition are derived from the Sorento X-Line model, one that’s already marketed as an able off-roader thanks to 20-inch wheels, 8.3-inch ground clearance, and a fancy AWD setup that includes a snow mode.

Obviously, the two prototypes adhere to different themes. Without giving out too much info on either of them, Kia tells us that the Yosemite Edition is all about mountain living and adventure on rocky ground, hence the Pine Green body paint, black accents, and the roof rack.

Kia Builds Two Sorento Concepts To Prove Its Wild Nature Exterior
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The Sorento Zion Edition, supposedly, has been designed to tackle sand flats as a desert escape vehicle.

To illustrate that, Kia’s designers went for Desert Sand gloss body paint, gloss black accents, and a full-length cargo top.

Although it ditches the V-6 engine, the 2021 Sorento can be had with a 2.5-liter mill in either naturally-aspirated or turbocharged state of tune. The n/a variant cranks out 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet, while the forced induced one is good for 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet, which makes it better equipped for driving off the beaten path in an off-road-oriented application.

Kia Builds Two Sorento Concepts To Prove Its Wild Nature Exterior
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Each car sits on 20-inch wheels wrapped in 32-inch all-terrain rubber and flaunts custom skid plates and brush guards. We must say, the work Kia did on the Sorento to bring it up to such extreme overlanding capabilities looks a lot like what Toyota and Lexus have been doing with the some or their products. The latest such contraptions that spruce to mind are Lexus’ GXOR and LX J201 off-road concepts.

Not to say that’s a bad thing. In a way, the Koreans are learning from the likes of Jeep and Ford, who know customization is a popular practice among their clientele and are gearing up to offer wide ranges of aftermarket bits and bobs.

Kia Builds Two Sorento Concepts To Prove Its Wild Nature Exterior
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Surely, a Sorento isn’t the ultimate go-anywhere machine out there and it’s highly unlikely that customers would bend over backwards to turn the SUV into a mean off-roader - something that Kia is aware of. But by parading these two show cars around, Kia hopes to at least entice the customer to buy milder mods, such as roof rack crossbars, tow hitches, and side steps.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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Since the arrival of the award-winning Telluride last year and the head-turning Seltos in early 2020, Kia Motors America (KMA) has had its sights on building a robust and reimagined SUV line-up. As the next step in this capability-focused product strategy, the all-new 2021 Sorento is poised to bring customers a new level of trail-ready toughness not yet seen from the brand. To celebrate this rugged personality, KMA unveiled a pair of custom-built Sorento SUVs – the Yosemite Edition and the Zion Edition – during the brand’s virtual national dealer meeting this week. The two wilderness-themed SUVs build upon the production Sorento X-Line model, a variant that highlights off-road prowess with unique 20-inch wheels, increased ride height to 8.3-in., improved approach/departure angles, more advanced AWD with snow-mode, and a more robust roof rack than the outgoing Sorento.

Customized by LGE-CTE Motorsports of San Dimas, CA, each vehicle receives its namesake and inspiration from the outdoor environments found in America’s great national parks. The Sorento Yosemite Edition is a dream build for high elevation adventuring and mountain living, painted in “Pine Green” in a matte finish with gloss and matte black accents. The Sorento Zion Edition is a desert escape vehicle made for stomping dunes, painted in “Desert Sand” in a gloss finish with gloss black accents.

Both feature custom fender flares that sit atop 20-inch wheels and 32-inch all-terrain tires. Body armor includes custom skid plates and brush guards in a satin chrome finish. For packing gear, the Yosemite edition wears a brawny roof rack, while the Zion Edition comes equipped with a full-length cargo top. The duo will be making special appearances around the country to capture the imagination of adventurers and enthusiasts, alike.

While most customers will not take their Sorento to the level of customization seen on the Yosemite and Zion Editions, many have shown a penchant for personalizing their Kia SUVs. To satisfy that desire, Kia will offer an exciting range of port-installed and dealer-installed accessories. Customers can tailor their Sorento to their lifestyle and needs with attachments such as roof rack crossbars, tow hitches for trailers, and side steps for easier load-in of toys.

The 2021 Kia Sorento will arrive in showrooms beginning in November.

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